Not long ago I was given the opportunity to bounce a few questions off of James Caviezel, the star of Jamie Blanks’ LONG WEEKEND remake NATURE’S GRAVE. It’s only a few queries for the man, mainly his general attitude towards making genre films and his approach to working in a remake, but I think he gives some interesting answers. I particularly like how he doesn’t care if a film is niche so long as it has a strong script.
I never think of them as niche movies, just strong scripts that ultimately make a statement that I’m proud to help put forward. I actually thought of Outlander as a bigger action picture, rather than as a niche movie. However, I liked the idea that a stranger from another planet and another era finds himself in a position to try to help defend a clan, first from other warring clans and then from an alien that he was responsible for bringing into their world.
Before coming aboard Nature’s Grave were you familiar with the 1978 version of the film?
I rarely see a film that I know I am about to do, but in this case, the director and producers sent it and strongly suggested I take a look at it. I was shocked that I hadn’t heard of it before, once I saw it. It feels like it was years ahead of its time, in its respect for nature, and yet I realize that there have always been perceptive people around – we just don’t tend to hear them.
What attracted you most to a film that humbles its characters in the face of their crimes against nature?
I have enormous respect for nature. It is interesting because you almost laugh at some of the things that you see my and Claudia’s characters do in the movie, and yet they are things that people do when they are in the forest every day. I was very proud to be part of a project that helps people recognize that nature must be protected.
What would you say is their biggest offense?
There are many. A very simple one, that has a long-lasting effect, is throwing a lit cigarette out of a car window. The impact on the wildlife is immediate, long-lasting and devastating.
What was it like filming on the Australian coast?
It was a breathtakingly beautiful location. It was also rough because it was remote, facilities were really limited, the bugs were huge and everywhere, all the time. All of that was perfect for this story and helped a great deal to give us the sense of isolation from everything other than nature, and to stress the role that nature has when we get away from all our man-made world.
I’ve got to ask about your Christopher Walken impersonation. Was that in the script or your own touch?
I have always been a big fan of Chris Walken. You know there are days when they have multiple people doing impressions of him. I have such a good time doing him, and it seemed right for a take on the film, which the director decided to keep.
Do you have any interest in getting involved with American horror movies?
I’m always open to being in a good project. I did a movie several years back called Highwayman, which had a terrifying killer who used his car as a weapon to hunt down, taunt and then kill young women. If you have a great script, that can attract a strong director and cast, I would be happy to be involved in more American horror movies.